A violent home invasion came to an abrupt and deadly end when the female victim grabbed the loaded gun she kept perched on top of her Bible – and shot her attacker dead.
Kay Dickinson of Wilmington, North Carolina, had no sooner turned the key in the lock of her front door after returning home from work late Monday, when she was grabbed from behind and forced into her apartment by a man threatening her with a gun.
“We had a tussle, and he choked me and gagged me, and I dropped everything right there in the kitchen,” she told the StarNews Online. “I was thinking, ‘This man is going to kill me.’ I really did. And when he took me to the bedroom I was thinking, you know, ‘Is he going to rape me?’”
The man tied Dickinson’s hands behind her back with a belt and wrapped a phone cord around her mouth.
“He kept saying, ‘give me the money, give me the money,’” Dickinson told WECT-TV.
While he ransacked the apartment, Dickinson managed to wriggle free.
“I got loose from the belt. And I had a gun sitting on a Bible on my headboard. I jumped up on the bed, grabbed the gun, turned around and just pulled the trigger,” Dickinson said.
When police arrived they found felon Willie Franklin Stith III, 35, lying near the front door with a single bullet wound to the chest.
“I didn’t know if he was alive or dead, he was grunting but I didn’t know,” she told the newspaper. “I put [9-1-1] on speaker and set her on the counter. I had my hands up when the police officer came to the door and they took me out of here pretty quick.”
Dickinson told the newspaper the ordeal lasted just a few minutes and that she had never before fired the gun, which she’s owned for about a year.
“As soon as he took me in the bedroom I looked over and the gun was sitting there and I was like, ‘There’s a reason why that gun is sitting there,'” she said. “I was just hoping he wouldn’t see it.”
Dickinson was taken to the hospital and treated for bumps and cuts on her face and head. She also injured her finger while firing the gun.
“I’m just glad I’m alive,” she told the TV station.
According to records from the N.C. Department Of Public Safety, Stith racked up more than a dozen convictions between 1998 and 2002, including second-degree burglary, possession of stolen goods, larceny, breaking and entering vehicles and assault on a public official.
Stith was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He served only 39 months of his 10-year sentence, and was released in September of 2006, reported the newspaper.
Wilmington Police Department spokeswoman Linda Rawley said no charges have been filed in the shooting. The New Hanover County district attorney’s office will make a decision on whether to file charges once police are finished with their investigation.
Watch Dickinson recount her ordeal to NBC affiliate WECT-TV: